Xerecs and I have begun the 8 fleet multiplayer game!
Here is the setup once again:
And here is the turn order:
Fleets controlled by a7xfanben:
1. Vassal La dominación española
2. American Pirates
3. UPS v. 5.0: Zeus style
4. Extra Action Gold Runners
Fleets controlled by xerecs:
5. The "Dread Galley" Speed Fleet
6. Barbary Untouchables V 2.0
7. dakmor's swarm fleet
8. Xerecs' HMS GT fleet
The American Pirates (AP's) used Hidden Cove on the Amity to put her at a wild island in the center of the map. She found the turtles UT on the first turn! My other fleets also got off to fast starts, with the Zeus building Dead Man's Point on an island for UPS 5, while both the Star of Siam and Joya del Sol got extra actions for the EA Gold Runners fleet.
Xerecs' fleets sail out! The swarm fleet began to split up, but the Intrepide was shot at by the Algeciras of the EA gold runner fleet. There were 3 different Algeciras' in this game, as well as multiple copies of the Banshee's Cry and the Hag of Tortuga. HMS Grand Temple has struck! Using a whirlpool, the GT ambushed the Joya del Sol (of the EA gold runner fleet, not volt's fleet), dismasting her and capturing Castro with Bonny Peel! Despite the Amity finding Missionary, the AP's were off to the fastest start, with 8 gold aboard the Amity and essentially 10 more swimming home in the form of sea turtles. The Roanoke looked to empty that same center island, but there was a long way to go....
Another turn by Xerecs, and more carnage! The Star of Siam was set upon by swarmers, while the Banshee's Cry rammed the Tiger's Eye in the northeast! The other Star of Siam (of the Dread Galley speed fleet) found Monkey's Paw and Runes of Death, and decided to leave the island's gold to the Tiger's Eye and Algiers. At the lower right, some swarmers have round earthed to the southeast, but they may have to deal with the wrath of volt's loaded Santo Columba. In the far north, the Longshanks of the GT fleet has found more turtles, while the GT herself stole another crew from the derelict Joya del Sol!
Volt's fleet finally had an eventful turn. The Algeciras hopped through a whirlpool to the northeast, where she would try to either stop the Longshanks or the turtles. Both the AP and GT fleets looked very good, with turtles found close to their HI's in addition to regular gold making its way home. However, any fleet taking on the AP's would have to contend with the Roanoke, so the Algeciras went north. In the meantime, the Joya del Sol docked at the southeastern island, confident that the Santo Columba could hold off the swarmers. The SC smashed the Lezard and Venture, but more ships were coming.
Speaking of the AP's, the Amity returned home with valuable loot. A situation was brewing in the center, and a familiar one at that: the Roanoke vs. the Zeus! In a rematch of the final round of Tournament 1, the AP's and UPS 5 were about to clash! The Roanoke loaded the final two coins from the center island and maneuvered to defend her turtles. The Zeus, having deposited a nice cache of coins, now sailed out to cause mayhem for the other fleets. Seeing the AP's about to get rich, and just to the west, it was an easy choice. The Zeus loaded up the oarsmen remaining on the HI, and sailed to war. After a sac action, both of her guns in range hit! The Coeur du Lion rammed the Roanoke and another mast fell! In a quick attack UPS 5 had left the Roanoke crippled, and essentially unable to launch a counterattack (the Roanoke would be able to hit the Zeus at most 4 times with a double action, which would still leave the Zeus with 6 masts). The EA gold runner fleet was in shambles, but the Star of Siam managed to get an EA from Gallows to dock home a few coins.
Bonny Peel on the GT managed to capture the entire crew complement of the Joya del Sol, which would make for an impressive gold haul. The Barbary Untouchables fleet was starting to make some waves: the Tiger's Eye docked at the northwestern island for gold, while the Nubian Prince sailed out of a whirlpool to emerge right next to the Zeus! Her immunity to ships within S meant the Zeus was relatively powerless against her, but in a game with this many fleets and whirlpools, UPS 5 would have no trouble finding an alternative target.... In a way, the NP's arrival may have saved the Roanoke and some of the AP's turtles, which could eventually have implications in the final gold count.
In the far north, the Pique managed a successful ram and board against the Longshanks, but was quickly dismasted for the effort. As for the Dread Galleys, the Tiger's Eye had escaped via round earth, while the Star of Siam was almost home to eliminate the dreaded Runes of Death. The Algiers took up exploring duties, and was promptly set upon by the same brave Banshee's Cry! At the lower right, the swarmers are successful against the Santo Columba, taking her down to 2 masts.
Volt's fleet had a rough turn at the beginning of the next round, with the Santo Columba failing miserably against the Carrion Crow and Coeur du Lion. Making things worse, the Joya del Sol found Natives and mediocre gold values. The AP's frantically tried to make the right decisions, with the Roanoke returning home both to deposit gold and to repair. With no obvious sac options left and both of the Amity's crew eliminated due to Missionary, the Roanoke's offensive capability was limited. The Bandido, after making a trip to the same island the Dread Galleys explored, was incredibly able to grab two of the last three coins from the island! Many turns ago I intended to use her to ram the Banshee's Cry if she loaded gold. Once the Dread Galleys showed up, I figured there wouldn't be gold left to take once the Bandido was finally able to explore. Instead, circumstances left the Bandido unharmed and (now) full with treasure! It wasn't all perfect for the AP's, as the Coeur eliminated a turtle. However, they breathed a sigh of relief to have the Zeus off their backs...
That's right, the Zeus is loose! Wanting no part of the extremely obnoxious Nubian Prince, Captain Jack Sparrow saw a golden opportunity. The Zeus used a whirlpool to emerge right next to the HMS Grand Temple! Using Skrew Engine, the Zeus was able to move a second time and rip off 8 shots, 6 of which found their mark! Suddenly the GT was a mastless hulk! A rematch of the first series of the first round of T1! I decided to not sink the GT, hoping to tow her home with her vast riches of captured crew. In hindsight, even though things would soon go terribly wrong, perhaps getting the GT's gold was the only hope UPS 5 had of winning this game?
In a brilliant move, Xerecs used the Banshee's Cry to tow the derelict Joya del Sol out of the GT's path! With an SAT from Myngs the GT was able to go through the whirlpool at S+S (helmsman and oarsman) and safely dock home 13 gold worth of captured crew!! I sat there in utter shock and anger, kicking myself for my mistake. I was naive enough to think the BC was going to explore, and I think I told myself that the BC in question belonged to the swarm fleet, not the GT fleet (wanting to believe it). Alas, I had made a huge mistake, and I was afraid it would cost one of my fleets the game. With 13 gold already on their HI and a full "fleet" of 10 turtles not far from reaching that HI, the GT fleet was the most obvious target for the Zeus. The AP fleet was also rich, but their turtles were essentially already safe (with no way to block them) and the Roanoke and Amity already home with gold. The GT fleet had 10 turtles 2 or 3 turns from home, in addition to a damaged Longshanks with gold aboard. The Zeus went through the same whirlpool as the GT, with a uniquely angry Captain Jack Sparrow aboard.
In the meantime, the swarmers grabbed gold and the Roanoke (barely) dismasted the Coeur du Lion of the UPS 5 fleet. The AP's had fantastic luck with gold (finding turtles and NOT finding Wolves, Natives, or Runes of Death, etc), but terrible luck with cannons. The Roanoke had to sac her helmsman just to end the Coeur's threat to the turtles, which effectively took the Roanoke out of the game, with just L speed at this point. The AP's were also lucky not to have their gold runners attacked in any way - the Bandido was about to return with gold, while the Amity had gone through a whirlpool towards the northwestern island, which was less volatile than the other WI's with gold on them. In the east, the Dread Galleys have unloaded gold, volt's Algeciras has unsuccessfully attacked the Longshanks, and the Santo Columba and swarmers have fought to a stalemate of sorts, with neither side having much of anything left at the end of that battle.
After another turn by Xerecs, more gold has been loaded and unloaded. The Nubian Prince follows the Zeus, but without the help of extra actions there will be no chain shotting today! In the southeast, the Santo Columba has fallen to the swarm ships, but the Joya is finally ready to set sail after spending two full turns docked at the island (one to explore, another to wait after Natives affected her helmsman).
In the northwest, the Star of Siam and Amity race to a wild island. The AP's have a sudden influx of gold, taking in 9 turtles and 2 coins from the Bandido in one turn! The hardships of the Roanoke have not been in vain, for the AP's look like the fleet to beat! (so far heh) As expected, things are going to get messy in the far northeast. The Zeus got busy, eliminating two turtles with a double action. The GT was repairing, while the Nubian Prince didn't have the speed to catch the Zeus.
After another turn, exciting developments unfold! Volt's Joya del Sol is almost home with gold, though her comrades (the Santo Columba and Algeciras) have sank beneath the waves. The Tiger's Eye of the Untouchables fleet has docked home an impressive haul, while the swarm fleet has some gold of their own on its way to their HI. The Zeus eliminated two more turtles with another double action, but even more importantly she sank the Longshanks with a whopping 10 gold aboard!! That could prove important later on, though there wasn't anything the GT fleet could do about it. The final action of the night was a major stroke of luck on the part of the EA gold runners, the winners of my historic 12 fleet game from early 2015. The Star of Siam had used Runes of Speed the turn before to dock at the northwestern island ahead of the Amity. Since neither ship had explorers, this meant the SoS would explore first. The AP's go right before the EA fleet in the turn order, and the Amity rammed the final mast off the SoS. The EA fleet's only remaining ship was the SoS, so the pressure was on her alone. Gallows gave her an EA, meaning she could explore and slowly begin to row away. The Star then explored, finding a few low-value coins, but also a very well-timed UT: TREES! The UT meant the SoS had both masts fully repaired! Anticipating a base move of only S, suddenly the Star of Siam was back in action with Trees! With her second action the Star sped into a fog bank, where she patiently waits... as this was the last turn of the night! Stay tuned for more, because this is a very interesting, exciting, close game! We are nearing the end, but perhaps more twists await?
Last night saw a ton of Pirates action! Not only did CG2 continue, but the 8 fleet game as well! It was a bit crazy playing two games at once, and this battle report skims over some of the details that I cannot remember.
In the southwest, the Star of Siam (SoS) has escaped through a whirlpool:
The northeast became very chaotic. The Zeus finally was able to move again, and I had to sac her helmsman just to get her out of the Nubian Prince's range. In the far northeast, the Dread Galleys have gold, which attracts the Amity to the area. The Grand Temple has repaired and is sailing once more.
The Bandido predictably finds Wolves on one of the northwestern islands, meaning that island is essentially irrelevant. Ships continue to flock to the east: the Zeus is slowly trying to get into position to protect the Dead Man's Point fort, which is about to come under attack by both a Tiger's Eye and the Roanoke. The fort holds gold, which is becoming quite scarce indeed. The Joya has whirlpooled to the southeast, where the Dread Galleys are round earthing their way home. The swarm fleet is also concentrated in the east at this point, and there's sure to be some desperate battles for low-value coins!
The Amity boards the Jolly Mon of UPS 5, killing that Hag of Tortuga to net another gold for the AP's! The Nubian Prince hit the Zeus with chainshot again, while the Grand Temple moved southwest. The Roanoke damaged the fort, inadvertently getting in the way of the Tiger's Eye lol. But in the far south, things were even more exciting! The Joya del Sol (of volt's fleet) stole a coin from the Dread Galleys, and then the Star of Siam from EA gold runners came through a whirlpool with an EA and rammed the Star of Siam of the Dread Galley fleet! Battle of the Stars! XD
Ships began scattering. The Joya and SoS whirlpooled near home in order to dock their stolen loot. The GT appeared in the southwest, Bonny Peel intent on capturing the swarm fleet's Hag of Tortuga. The Nubian Prince held the Zeus in place with chain shot while hitting with her regular cannons, a trend that would continue for 3 straight turns! The Dread Galleys had already run into trouble with having their gold stolen, and they weren't done yet. The AP's and swarmers were the next to pick on them.
The Joya and SoS have docked home their gold, while the Amity managed to steal a coin. The fort is no more! The Roanoke managed to dismast the Coeur on the same turn, but the swarmers had a plan.... In the far west, the unthinkable happened: the mighty Grand Temple rolled a 1 when ramming the Jolly Mon, meaning that she would be pinned as long as the JM didn't move away!! Bonny Peel captured the Hag of Tortuga, but the swarmers had a perfect opportunity to deny the GT fleet her 5 gold payout in addition to keeping the other swarm ships safe from the big gunship.
The Coeur explored with her last gasp, and the Banshee's Cry moved in right beside her to take the gold formerly held in the fort! In the meantime, the Roanoke had come under attack from other swarm ships! With gold aboard the BC and the GT pinned, things looked great for the swarm fleet. The Nubian Prince has knocked the Zeus down to just one mast, but UPS 5 would have a few more fireworks in them...
At this point, Xerecs did something I may never fully understand, but here's his explanation after I asked him about it through email:
[quote="xerecs"]The swarm thought and figured that the gt would go after ships with crew on them, like the Zeus or NP. The swarm has a mentality of meat shields for their few remaining runners, also they know that the gt wont bother with them since now that the hag is gone, the gt has no more business with them.[/quote]
All eyes turned to the southeast. The Roanoke was in major trouble, while the Tiger's Eye of the Untouchables fleet had loaded the final coin from the island that had Dead Man's Point on it. It was a congregation of survivors, and things were about to get even more interesting!
That's right, UPS 5 has captured the Roanoke! In a last-ditch effort to deny the Roanoke's gold (or 10 gold payout from her two crew if Bonny Peel captured them) via towing her back home or scuttling her, the Zeus made a big move. Even crazier was the other parts of UPS 5's turn. Unfortunately I had to sacrifice Captain Jack Sparrow to get the Zeus into position, something that is extremely rare. But then the Jolly Mon won a boarding party to steal a coin from the Tiger's Eye! It was an improbable turn, but the winner of T1 was too weak to sustain these brief advantages.
Utter confusion in the southeast. Many rams and boards were happening at this time, some of them likely irrelevant. The whole process of boarding, stealing a coin, and then the other ship stealing the coin back began in earnest. What I do know is that UPS 5 successfully rolled to scuttle the Roanoke, while the Zeus got into position to block the GT, who surprisingly didn't blow the nearby Raton to smithereens.
More chaos! The Dread Galleys captured the Roanoke, but the Roanoke had her coin stolen by the TE of the Untouchables fleet! The GT captured Don Pedro Gilbert, leaving the Zeus (and UPS 5 as a fleet) with no crew! The Banshee's Cry looked like she would escape, though not before the SoS would steal one of her coins! The Amity then stole it from the SoS, who lost Gallows in trying to get it back! The game was just plain messy!
This shows more rams and boards, and general combat. XD Who will win this epic battle!?
The 8 fleet game has finally concluded!
The Roanoke was sunk!! This denied Bonny Peel from getting her crew, and also gave the Untouchables fleet 1 gold from drowning Commodore Perry. In the southwest, the Joya has turned around - I forgot that the Banshee's Cry was carrying a helmsman, so the sloop was able to dock home her gold without getting attacked. In the north, the Amity has escaped the mess in the southeast and looks to dock home her stolen gold.
A few turns later, and the action has shifted! The Tiger's Eye of the Untouchables fleet has both of the last few coins in play, making her a magnet to be mauled by the other fleets! The Dread Galley TE and volt's Joya each steal a coin, making themselves the new targets. Bonny Peel unloads some captured crew for the GT fleet, while the Jolly Mon tows the Zeus for UPS 5.
The ensuing chaos results in the Untouchables' TE stealing her coin back from the Joya. The Star of Siam of the EA gold runners fleet was sunk, eliminating them from the game.
However, that same TE is captured by the swarm fleet's Banshee's Cry after losing a mast to a whirlpool! The lost mast meant the TE couldn't get home on oar power at one third her normal speed. The Dread Galley TE docked home her coin for the speed fleet. The Amity has been scuttled, eliminating the AP's from the active game. Volt's Joya has also been sunk, eliminating his fleet from contention. Most of the days' action concerned Xerecs' fleets, for I came into the day with exactly one functioning ship in each of my four fleets. By the end of the game I could only do stuff with the Jolly Mon of UPS 5!
Numerous galleys sailed through the whirlpool to try and catch the Banshee's Cry, but she was too quick. Using the captured TE's action to give herself the coin, the BC was able to dock home the final coin! This ended the game, after which the GT fleet docked home Bonny Peel's final two captured crew.
The gold was counted up, and the American Pirates have won the 8 fleet multiplayer game!!
1. American Pirates: 31 gold
2. Xerecs' HMS GT fleet: 28 gold
3. UPS 5: 15 gold
4. Barbary Untouchables 2: 14 gold
5. EA Gold Runners: 13 gold
6, 7, 8: Volt's FC fleet, Dread Galley speed fleet, dakmor's swarm fleet: 12 gold
An incredible game! The final scores were extremely close - a group of two elites at the top, followed by a pack of SIX fleets all within THREE gold of each other!! We couldn't have asked for a better game - it was just about perfect. Not only did every single fleet get some gold (a rarity for a game with this many fleets), but the last 3 fleets all tied with 12, so no fleet stands out as getting "last" place! The game also featured lots of twists, turns, decisions, and exciting moments. Early UT luck was predictably a major factor, but things evened out in the long haul, especially as ramming and boarding became a major tactic.
The ending avoided controversy by a hair. If the Grand Temple had docked home Bonny Peel's captured crew before the Banshee's Cry had docked, the GT fleet would have won with 35 gold! However, after woelf's answer in the Rules thread, nothing is in doubt. If the GT fleet had won, they would have advanced to Tournament #2! Alas, the AP's were already in T2 after making it past the first round of T1, and thus simply further prove themselves as one of the more competitive fleets out there. I personally find it fitting that the GT fleet didn't win, because the AP fleet easily could have won by a larger margin. After the swarm fleet's (another fleet controlled by Xerecs) Jolly Mon "unpinned" the previously trapped Grand Temple at the swarmers' HI, the GT went on to capture numerous crew, and indeed, eventually enough to win if another turn had passed. Therefore the questionable decision was almost enough to have the GT fleet win but only with the help of the swarm fleet. Nothing against Xerecs, but perhaps a lesson in playing all the fleets equally in multiplayer games, a bit of "karma" if you will.
It was now time to hand out some awards! Xerecs and I did this on a whim; it may become a tradition depending upon the game(s) played. It usually won't be worth doing for standard 40 point games, but in a series of games (such as these tournaments) or a multiplayer game it's more applicable.
MVS (Most Valuable Ship): Amity (of the AP fleet)
The Amity was a workhorse from the beginning, being one of the first ships to explore. Both of her crew were killed by the Missionary UT on the first turn, but somehow she survived almost the entire game. She brought back 8 gold on her first trip, discovering valuable turtles at the same island. Only 1 turtle was killed, resulting in a net of 17 gold from one wild island, which turned out to be higher than the totals of almost all the other fleets! The Amity then went on different raiding missions, and I believe two were successful. Either way, you could say she truly made the difference, for one of those raids brought home a 2 coin, while another killed UPS 5's Hag of Tortuga for 1 gold, resulting in the difference of 3 gold in her fleet's 31-28 margin of victory!
Honorable mentions: Roanoke, Banshee's Cry, HMS GT, etc.
MVC (Most Valuable Crew): Bonny Peel (of the GT fleet)
Bonny managed to capture a whopping 30 points' worth of crew, although 7 gold was left aboard when the game ended. 13 gold came from the EA runners' Joya del Sol, whose entire crew complement was ransomed off. She then went on to terrorize other fleets, stealing the swarm's Hag of Tortuga (which could have been the last crew she swiped), Don Pedro Gilbert of UPS 5, and the last two crew of the Nubian Prince (captain and Murat Rais for the unloaded 7). In the end, the GT fleet didn't actually have any gold on their home island - they had 23 gold from crew captures and 5 turtles! This is made all the more amazing by the fact that it's exactly the same amount of gold that Dragon Eyes captured in my epic game from last fall! However, Bonny Peel captured crew worth 30 gold in the game overall, which can stand as a record! (they are tied at 23 each for most captured crew unloaded in a single game)
With that, the AP's improve to 9-7 overall. In terms of fleet records, Xerecs and I have agreed to only count games as losses if less than 4 players/fleets are involved. Therefore, in games with 4 or more fleets, the winning fleet is credited with a win (of course), but the other fleets aren't charged with a loss. I think 3 fleets is a reasonable cutoff; once you have 4 or more players the chances of winning the game really decrease, and obviously 8 fleets is quite a large game.
It's also nice to see some parity in the scores; my fleets were 1 and 3, Xerecs' 2 and 4, etc. I collected 71 total gold against Xerecs' 66 total gold, but Xerecs had all his fleets active at the end while I only had the Jolly Mon from UPS 5.
It was a memorable game, and now that it's over, we look to VASSAL Tournament #2! This is the big one - the fleet that wins T2 will be declared the best fleet of all time!! 16 fleets will be participating, in the same elimination style bracket as T1. We are in the process of choosing our fleets and setting up the bracket. Tournament 2 will soon begin!